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Hosting Your First Girls Sleepover Party

Updated on January 15, 2015

Your Daughter's First Sleepover Party?

You knew that day would come. After years of gymnastics, arcade and roller skating birthday parties, your daughter requests a SLEEPOVER PARTY. When it happened to me, my first instinct was to say no. But after thinking about the time and expense that usually go into planning a party at one of these venues, I decided this might just be a win-win.

After all, I was confident I could get away cheaply compared to those invite-the-whole-class parties replete with goody bags, extra (uninvited) siblings and lingering parents who had to be fed. And at the same time, I could be the coolest mom on the block since at age 8, my daughters friends were still new to the sleepover party game - though they did have some experience sleeping over at friends houses one on one.

My first step? Polling the experts - moms who've been there done that for their tips for hosting the best sleepover birthday party EVER!

Friends: Making Them & Keeping Them (American Girl)
Friends: Making Them & Keeping Them (American Girl)

Help your daughter form healthy friendships with her peers with this great book from the American Girl Doll series. Perfect for sleepover prep!


Is Your Daughter Ready for a Sleepover Party?

There's a wide range of opinion when it comes to the question of how old is old enough for a sleepover birthday party. Here are some things to consider.

Has She Slept Away from Home Before?

My daughter has been sleeping over at friends houses, and having friends sleep over by us, since she was 7. Since I know she is mature enough to handle a night away from home, I can hope that the majority of her friends are as well.

Does She Get Along Well With Her Friends?

This may sound like a funny question, but at 8,9,10 girl drama tends to set in. If you're already hearing tales out of school about this one being mean, and that one talking bad about the other one, think twice. A long night away from parents is the perfect breeding grounds for mean-girl behavior. If it has already reared it's ugly head, either meticulously prune the guest list or hold off until friendships are more stable.

Check out the American Girl Doll series of books for some great reads about friendship, perfect for 8,9,10 year old girls.

Sleepover Party Activities and Games

The balance of activities is tricky at a sleepover party. At this age, girls want their "Girl Time" and don't want to feel like they are participating in a series of babyish activities. However, too much free time can lead to conflicts, drama and tears.

So how do you strike the perfect balance of supervised "grown-up" activities and parent-free girl bonding time?

So here is what my daughter and I agreed on:

  • One craft activity, decorating or "autographing" pillow cases for each other.
  • A "Dance Party" in the basement with glow sticks and personalized sound track (Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift Taylor Swift)
  • Some "Girls-Only" time in front of a Movie
  • Lights out at 10 pm

Tulip Permanent Fabric Brush Tip Markers, Rainbow, Set of 10
Tulip Permanent Fabric Brush Tip Markers, Rainbow, Set of 10

You can buy a combination of fat and thin fabric markers. Consider this an investment, since you'll be using them for years to come to label your kids clothes for camp!


Pillowcase Decorating Activity

Here is the craft activity my crafty Sister-in-law suggested and my daughter loved. It turns out to be a $50 craft for 8 -12 girls. A little pricey, but it will take the place of Goody bags.

Each girl will get a pillowcase, and they can share the paint pens to doodle and autograph each other's pillowcases. A nice keepsake of their slumber party - and hopefully it will keep them busy for all of 15 minutes before we are on to the next thing!

I bought all of the items on Amazon. See below to get them now.

Polycotton Bulk Pack of 12 Standard Size Pillowcases, White, 200 Thread Count, 21"x30" (Fits 20" X26" pillow), 1 Dozen, Perfect for Physical Therapy Clinics, Hotels, Camps
Polycotton Bulk Pack of 12 Standard Size Pillowcases, White, 200 Thread Count, 21"x30" (Fits 20" X26" pillow), 1 Dozen, Perfect for Physical Therapy Clinics, Hotels, Camps

These pillowcases get good reviews as craft pillowcases for projects like our autographed pillowcase. I'll update this to let you know how it worked!

The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride

All the moms are talking about how great it is that our daughters are loving this favorite of ours from our youth!


Picking a Movie for your Daughter's Sleepover Party

I don't know about you, but for me picking the movie is the most stressful part of this sleepover. Pick something too childish and the kids will not be interested. Pick something too mature, and the parents will be calling you the next day. Violent? Do you want to stay up with kids having nightmares at a sleepover? Nope.

I polled my friends about what movies they showed at their daughters sleepovers - but then realized this same group of girls would not want to watch those same movies again. AARGH! What to do?

Luckily Common Sense Media had me covered. They actually post a list of the most appropriate sleepover movies by age. Who knew?

Check out the list here, and then if you have a Smart TV and an Amazon Prime account, stream them online to your TV.

Sleepover Party Movie Picks

Which Movie is Most Appropriate for 9 Year Old Girls at a Sleepover Party?

See results


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